* Yes, Mitt Romney did dissemble about the auto-bailout last night. As Sam Stein explains, on the core question of whether government should put up money during reorganization, Romney got it wrong.
Here’s what Romney said in 2008: “If you write a check, they’re going to go out of business.”
* I noted earlier that Obama told Ohioans today that Romney had essentially lied in their faces about the auto-bailout, in a closing push to define Romney as too untrustworthy for the presidency. Here’s video.
* Why Team Obama is cautiously optimistic: More from the conference call David Axelrod and Jim Messina held with reporters today. Key takeaway: They’ve prepared for this tight finish for months.
* From the department of things that are far more important to the election than any single poll: “Housing recovery picks up speed.”
* I’d forgotten this, but as Steve Benen reminds us, Romney’s outrage at Obama’s failure to visit Israel during his first term is rather selective, given the behavior of certain previous Republican presidents.
* Jonathan Chait on how the Romney campaign’s carefully orchestrated appearance of momentum is just a big old bluff, and reporters seem happy to play along:
Obama’s lead is narrow — narrow enough that the polling might well be wrong and Romney could win. But he is leading, his lead is not declining, and the widespread perception that Romney is pulling ahead is Romney’s campaign suckering the press corps with a confidence game.
One more time: All the major averages of state polls show that Obama is leading in enough states to put him comfortably past 270. Could that change, and could Romney win? Absolutely. But the polling averages are clear: This is a national dead heat, and Obama holds a slight edge in the electoral college.
* Alec MacGillis says the media is under-reporting the magnitude of Obama’s debate victory to keep the Romney momentum narrative alive. He’s not alleging conspiracy; his point is that reporters can’t resist certain storylines.
* Ed Kilgore is skeptical that media chatter about a candidate’s supposed momentum actually moves any votes.
* No, Obama is not pulling out of North Carolina. As Chris Cillizza notes, neither side has any incentive to pull out anywhere: Even if Obama’s slipping in the state it remains close enough to fight on.
* This election will be decided largely by suburbanites in a handful of swing states, voters the Obama camp hopes to corral with an intensive, face to face organizing effort they’ve built up over years.
* That rumor that the Romney campaign is planning a 30-minute infomercial in swing states? Not true.
* And the number of Americans who watched last night’s debate: 59.2 million. We’ll have to wait for polls next weekend and into next week to determine what impact it had.